The cloud for business use is growing rapidly. Yet most of the growth so far has been in the arena of small- to mid-sized businesses, with enterprises lagging behind. Why is this? What will it take to get enterprises on board with cloud initiatives?
Where the Cloud is Already Strong
The “aaS” models of business computing have done a lot to catapult the cloud into prominence. Software as a Service (SaaS), Databases as a Service (DaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are all popular investments. Enterprises also utilize cloud services for certain projects that are relatively limited in scope. These include projects like proof of concept, temporary workspaces for a special project or seasonal workloads, certain data processing jobs, and a grounds for development and testing projects.
What enterprises haven’t done on a large scale just yet is to move sizable and significant projects into the cloud. This is slowly changing as larger organizations turn to the cloud for resources like asset management software, but what will it take for enterprises to adopt the cloud on the same level as smaller and mid-size businesses?
Connectivity Has to Be Great
One issue is connectivity. Larger corporations need to be assured that connectivity issues won’t cause excess latency or expensive downtime. In reality, downtime for cloud service providers is probably the same or less as any given large organization. After all, cloud services have nothing else to focus on aside from providing their customers with a stable IT environment, while internal IT help desk workers have many other issues on their plate on a given day. Cloud service providers must be able to demonstrate great connectivity in order to convince enterprise executives of the value of the cloud.
Security Has to Be Solid
Though security issues are far less of a concern now than they were several years ago when the cloud was still new, many larger corporations are still reluctant to hand over sensitive information to a cloud provider. Some industries also deal with compliance regulations that tie their hands when it comes to allowing access to third party vendors such as a cloud service. Yet most of the news-making hacks over the past couple of years haven’t occurred in a cloud environment — the worst hacks almost always involve a direct hacking of the company itself. Once it is clear what legislators will inevitably do in terms of regulating cloud services, more enterprises will likely take advantage of these low-cost services.
The Cloud Has to Offer Something Worth Abandoning Hardware Investments
Some of the reluctance of switching to cloud services has nothing at all to do with the cloud. These businesses have invested huge sums of money into existing IT infrastructure and won’t abandon it until it’s produced value to the organization. It is very likely that as mainframes and other hardware age and become less reliable, more enterprises will turn to the cloud instead of making more gigantic investments in hardware.
In the meantime, the cloud allows numerous other businesses to take advantage of the latest software, applications, and services for a fraction of the cost of buying and maintaining such systems in house.